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Cele set to visit Bonteheuwel after Cape anti-crime protests

Police used force to dispel a group of demonstrators in the area on Tuesday.

FILE: Minister of Police Bheki Cele. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Bheki Cele will visit Bonteheuwel on Wednesday following anti-crime protests.
Police used force to dispel a group of demonstrators in the area on Tuesday.

Similar demonstrations occurred in other Cape Town neighbourhoods. Residents had mobilised to vent their anger over high crime levels, especially gangsterism.

One Hanover Park resident says that she lost her husband in a shooting two months ago.

“It’s our time to take our streets back. This belongs to us and our children. Why must we live in fear? This is our place. We’ve had enough. Enough is enough.”

Thirteen people were arrested following demonstrations.

WATCH: Enough! Communities across CT rally together against gang violence

Disgruntled residents forced the closure of several roads across the city. They demanded that authorities step up efforts to curb violence and gang-related crimes.

Unemployment and poverty eradication are among the issues community members feel lawmakers should prioritise.

At a meeting in Hanover Park, following Tuesday’s demonstrations, residents described reaching “a new level of despair” as violent crimes continue in their communities unabated.

One resident shared concerns for children in her community. “It’s unfair to our children. It’s unfair that they can’t go to school because of drugs and gangsterism.”

Another woman said that they were constantly living in fear: “We can’t go to the shop, we must live in fear. It’s unfair.”

Another local added: “It’s not about you and your family. It’s about everybody else also.”

City authorities say that organisers didn’t have permits to stage the widespread demonstrations. Some officials have suggested that a political motive gave rise to the unrest.

The most recent crime figures show the Western Cape had the highest number of gang killings, with 808 murders recorded over the last financial year.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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